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Comment: My top three (Score 2) 222

Perhaps the open source tool I rely on most is Subsurface, a SCUBA dive logging application. It's the best for me as it will interface with pretty much any dive computer, and export the data in a simple CSV file.

Plex is another big GPL-licensed tool I use, but at least part of the code is closed source, so I'm not really sure how to rate that one.

TWAIN-SANE is another excellent project. It allows me to support my legacy USB scanner. Perfectly good hardware, but Canon stopped supporting it years ago.

Comment: Size of Quakes Correlates With Water Used (Score 4, Informative) 211

by milbournosphere (#44263947) Attached to: Energy Production Causes Big US Earthquakes
It appears that the smaller quakes are triggered by the water movement, the size of which correlates with the amount of water used:

Now, scientists have known that geothermal power plants cycling water from underground can cause small quakes. But Brodsky's research actually matches the amount of water moved to the frequency of the quakes.

However, they're still not sure what causes the larger quakes. The hypothesis is that the really big ones might be triggered by other unrelated tremors.

So what van der Elst wanted to know was: "What prompts that slip?" Sometimes it's just all that water building up. However, he discovered that in three cases in the past decade — in Oklahoma, in Colorado and in Texas — the trigger was yet another earthquake, a really big one, thousands of miles away. In each case, the large earthquakes set up large seismic waves that traveled around the surface of the earth "kind of like ripples," van der Elst says. "You can even see them on seismometers, going around the world multiple times."


Comment: Continuity across platforms (Score 3, Insightful) 387

by milbournosphere (#44251157) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Reorganizing Microsoft

Microsoft will consolidate all its major operating systems, including Windows, Windows Phone and the software that powers the Xbox, under Terry Myerson, who handled engineering for only Windows Phone before.

I wonder if this will lead to any significant rethink of things on the desktop side. Windows 8 has a bit of an identity crisis going on; perhaps Win9 or whatever they decide to call it will solve that problem now that all of the OS design groups are under one tidy grouping.

Comment: Re:Rentseeking (Score 1) 309

It was a time haunted by bigness, as Americans stared at the giant corporations that had swelled to dominate the economic landscape and feared that consumers would soon become subject to whatever whims the companies cared to impose on them.

A poignant quote, considering how well corporations and large donors have integrated themselves into the government and its regulatory systems since the Reagan administration. It ended in a crash last will it end this time?

Comment: Sure... (Score 4, Informative) 749

by milbournosphere (#44007737) Attached to: Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders
Just in March, Clapper testified to congress that such a program didn't even exist. On March 12th:

[Wyden]"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
[James Clapper]"No, sir."
[Wyden]"It does not?"
[Clapper:]"Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect -- but not wittingly."

There have been too many lies and half truths for me to believe anything that the NSA, Obama administration, or upper congressional committees have to say on the matter.

Comment: Re:Which amendment would you like to lose today? (Score 1) 609

by milbournosphere (#43921659) Attached to: Verizon Ordered To Provide All Customer Data To NSA
It's currently at the top of several news sites at the moment, and is topping my Google news feed. Given the privacy concerns in the news recently involving the IRS and targeted drone killings of US citizens, in addition to the TOP SECRET status of this order, I wouldn't be surprised if the press and opposition party has a field day tomorrow. And rightfully so; this is a gross violation of the fourth amendment. At the very least, one would hope that it leads to the order not being extended by the court come July.

Comment: Re:I believe I speak for a dozen people when I say (Score 3, Informative) 164

by milbournosphere (#43755047) Attached to: Amtrak Upgrades Wi-Fi
Amtrak doesn't do horribly in the southern coast region, either. With the upgraded wifi, the only real argument against taking the train is the time required to move anywhere. From LA to San Luis Obispo is around 6 hours, vs 4 at the most via automobile. From SLO to San Diego, the end of the line, can take almost 10 hours at times. I can drive there in a little over half the time.

That said, the seats are comfortable, the cars are relatively quiet, the wifi seems to be improving, and I've had worse free coffee. It beats driving on cost, and beats flying on both cost and convenience in that I don't need to give up my civil rights to get on the train (yet). I yearn for the day that CA and other places have high speed rail.

Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand Effect? (Score 3, Interesting) 700

by milbournosphere (#42876617) Attached to: Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times
Let me clarify: I do think he over-reacted. That said, not fully charging an electric car's battery before doing a range test is somewhat irresponsible of the reviewer, and it's not hard to see why Tesla might not be happy with the results of the test. Perhaps the NYT should fully charge the car over night, then re-run the test.

Comment: Barbara Streisand Effect? (Score 2) 700

by milbournosphere (#42876541) Attached to: Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times
I hadn't read the review until Musk started talking about it. This alone made more news than the article. In the end I don't think there will be a large effect on sales; those who can afford to buy a Tesla will buy one whether or not it runs a little shorter in the cold. That said, if the logs reflect that the car wasn't fully charged, then Musk does have a valid reason to complain.

Comment: Re:Similarity to gun buybacks? (Score 1) 350

by milbournosphere (#42548539) Attached to: Connecticut Groups Cancels Plan to Destroy Violent Games
I agree with the points you make about video games, their 'effect' on violence and their use as scapegoats. However, the program IS (well, would have been) voluntary and could potentially serve as a resource for parents of younger children who don't, for some reason or another, feel comfortable with their (non teenage) kids playing violent stuff. I'm simply trying to point out the hypocrisy of the NRA calling for a program like this one while lambasting voluntary gun buyback programs. I find it hilarious that they're making the same points about the 'video game scourge' in support of a program like this one, while fighting those exact same arguments made in favor of gun control.

If they are allowed to do this without protest, people will assume that their pseudo-science is actually legitimate.

I hadn't considered that angle...I appreciate the food for thought.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.